Adoption: Fact vs fiction
Are you clued up when it comes to adoption in South Africa? Here are some facts to dispell some of the most common adoption myths.
What are the first thoughts that enter your mind when you think about adoption? Do you think that a parent who gives up their child for adoption is throwing their child away? Are you under the impression that only rich, married couples are allowed to adopt? Or perhaps you are of the opinion that an adopted child is much harder to raise than a biological child?
These are just a few of the many misconceptions that people believe about adoption. Below, we address the facts behind some of the most common adoption myths in the hope that it will let you view adoption in a new, positive light...
Adoption is an act of love
It is not taking someone else’s child or giving away your own child. Adoption is a difficult and selfless decision and should be lovingly made with the best interests of the child in mind.
Adoptions are seldom considered failures
According to research most adoptions do not disrupt the child’s life in a negative way. For many reasons, adoptions are considered more successful than foster care.
Few adopted children display behavioural problems
Research has shown that because adoptive families are more open to seeking external support during difficult times, they are less prone to develop serious individual or family disfunctionalities.
We do not need perfect families to adopt
Families who have experienced problems and have handled them successfully are usually better adoptive resources. Positive outcomes for adoptive families and children depend on good, solid and insightful preparation and education of adoptive parents.
Any child can be considered adoptable
Adoptability is determined by those social workers closest to the child and birth mother, and is based on a variety of factors.
Effective parenting is not dependant on one’s marital status, religious affiliation, financial statusor race
The most important aspect in adoption is the prospective adoptive parent’s commitment to parenting. Ideal adoptive families have sufficient financial means to respond to their child’s basic needs. Working parents can make good adoptive parents. Children can be successfully adopted by families of different races and ethnicities.
Adoptions in the past focused on finding babies for infertile couples. Today the focus is on finding families for waiting children.
The focus has moved from “investigating suitability” to “education and preparation of adoptive parents”.
Adoption is not a result of a forced intervention by external parties
It is a proactive action by a birth family or social worker. The terms of the adoption are negotiated with the birthmother and father as key decision makers allowing them to be involved in the matching and selection process of the adoptive parent(s) if they so choose and to receive information about their child’s adjustment with the adoptive family.
The ddoption screening and preparation process that adoptive applicants go through is very important
This can be time consuming, but is crucial for the success of the adoption.
For more information about adoption call 0800 864 658 or visit www.adoption.org.za for assistance and advice.